It happens. You buy your dream home on the water of the Ross Barnett Reservoir. The next step is to buy that boat and a structure to store the boat. You've paid your leasehold fees and are living life fat and happy until you read the Clarion-Ledger this morning. It seems the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District might start charging leasehold fees for docks, slips, and boathouses that are on the water. The newspaper reported:
Windrose Point resident Ken Blaine purchased his waterfront home on Ross Barnett Reservoir about 15 years ago and soon after built a pier that met neighborhood covenant requirements.
"They had some rules when I built it that said you couldn't build more than 25 feet from the water line," Blaine said. "That was the only rules we had.
"It states in our covenants that I'm on a water access lot. PRV (Pearl River Valley Water Supply District) signed off on the covenants."
That's why Blaine was surprised when he recently received a letter from the PRVWSD questioning his boathouse-pier conversion.
"I got a letter stating that I had to give them proof that I had a lease for that area in the water for the boathouse," Blaine said. "To my understanding, nobody has that."
Barnett Reservoir General Manager John Sigman said more letters about private piers and boathouses are to be mailed.
Sigman said leaseholders on Barnett Reservoir land lease just that — the land where their home is built. The right to build a pier or boathouse that extends into the water is not included in the agreement. He said the fact that some pier and boathouse owners are not leasing the areas in the water was discovered recently through the Building and Permit Department.
"What has happened was a gentleman bought a house over there (in Windrose Point) and wanted to build a boathouse," Sigman said. "Through the process we checked to see if he leased the property (in the water) and he did not. Sure enough, none of them had either a lease or easement for the addition beyond their lot."
Blaine said that even though the contractor who built his pier got a permit for its construction, this is the first time he's ever heard of paying to lease the area.Rest of article.
Mr. Sigman told JJ that the district was determining whether charging leasehold fees for structures built on the water was legal and feasible. He said the district would not charge money for structures built in the past but would charge additional leasehold fees only in the future if the district decides to charge fees at all.